Pre-conception and Nutrition

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Pre-conception and Nutrition

11th October 2016 09:26 AM

Author: Samantha Farmer

Pre-conception Information:

Nutritional deficiencies prior to conception have been related to certain birth defects, so ensuring optimum nutrition prior and during pregnancy is vital.

The nutritional status of women can prevent future generations from suffering from chronic diseases.

Supplements are not an option in place of a good diet. Diet must come first. This can be supported by supplements for individual needs.

The diet should include all vital food groups; carbohydrate, protein and essential fats, plus plenty of water - starting your eating plan at least 3 months prior to starting a family.

Complex Carbohydrates:  which supply the main source of energy. These are whole foods and vegetables, which have a low glycemic index in comparison to simple carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates include processed foods like white bread, white pasta, packet cereals, cakes, biscuits, crackers, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks and sugar. Limit your intake of simple carbs.

Fruit provides great nutrient values and antioxidents to help protect your cells. However, do not over-eat fruit as it is also high in natural sugars, which can affect hormone balance. Eat 2 to 3 portions per day with a little protein, like a small handful of nuts, to slow the sugar release from the fruit.

Also eat a 'rainbow' of colours each day. Each colour represents a different phytonutrient to suppport your body.

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will also supply a good source of fibre.


Fibre keeps your bowels moving and in so doing, helps your body eliminate toxins and waste, including used hormones. For those who may need extra help to get their bowels moving, try a tablespoon of flax seeds (linseeds) soaked in water over night and drink the next morning. Ensure you drink plenty of water, particularly if you up your intake of fibre. This will help keep the stools soft and makes them easier to pass.


Water: drink plenty for bowel function, to hydrate the cells so they function fully and to aid toxin elimination. Aim for 6 to 8 glasses (1 1/2 litres) per day. Increase your intake should you drink tea or coffee.


Protein:  supplies the building blocks called amino acids for cell sructure, immune function, enzymes, hormones, plus. Good quality protein should be eaten at each meal. This includes wild, free-range or organic meat and fish, plus eggs, nuts and seeds, legumes and lentils. Avoid processed meats including bacon and sausages.


Take care not to over eat red meat; it has been associated with oestrogen dependent conditions like fibroids and endometriosis, and also to cancer risk. Keep red meat to a minimum - you may even want to avoid it during your fertility journey.


Dairy:  may also present some problems. Milk contains natural growth hormones for the calfs growth. These can cause an imbalance in human hormone levels. You may wish to try alternatives like organic goats' or sheep's milk, that are lower in hormone levels.


Natural live organic yoghurt contains bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus, which has shown benefits on hormone levels and gut function, so this can be included.


Fats:  here you want to include essential fatty acides,  those fats found in nuts, seeds, oily fish, olive oil and avocado. These assist with cell structure, hormone production, brain, eyes and nervous system development, as well as mediating inflammation. Look for organic, cold-pressed or unrefined oils.  


The fats to reduce include saturated fats; those found in animal products. Your body needs some to function, but we tend to eat too many in the Western World.


Remove unhealthy fats like trans-fats and hydrogenated fats. These fats have an altered structure, which is damaging to the body. These are found in fried foods, cakes, biscuits, pastries, crisps, chips, margarines and fast foods.


To summarise include each of the food groups each day, ensure a wide range of colours, choose fresh, wild, organic (the best quality you can afford), drink plenty of water, cook from scratch as much as possible and enjoy!


Samantha is a registered nutritional therapist (CNHC & BANT) with a keen interest in womens health, digestive issues and stress management. Her approach is in line with Functional Medicine, which focuses on the client, looking to re-balance all components that lead to optimum health.




Tags: Nutritional Therapy, pre-conception, Pregnancy

Treatments: Nutritional Therapy

Practitioners: Samantha Farmer

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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